tv Charlie Rose WHUT June 1, 2012 10:00am-11:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to our program, tonight we take snapshot of two important issues of our time, we begin with larry fink, on the economy and wall street. >> i wouldn't call it full-scale economic recovery but we are going to start creating jobs and housings again, so, you know, i believe whoever is president is going to have that benefit in 2014. >> yes. >> that housing is going to be on the upswing. so to me, much of, you know, much about life is timing, we all say that. >> rose: right. >> well the same thing if you running a country it is about timing and, you know, we -- if you think about government policy, all government policy could do is accelerate the filtering of this excess inventory it doesn't long-term fix anything and so i would
asked repeatedly by washington, what can we do about housing? and i said time. >> rose: we continue with john heilemann on politics. >> they ran a lot of negative ads in 2008 more ads against john mccain than any presidential candidate that ran before but the tone of that campaign if you think about the ratio of attacks on the opponents, opponents versus talk about plans, visions, aspirations. >> rose: hope and change. >> it was much more, people had, they correctly viewed the obama campaign as being a campaign that was more positive than it was negative, they still did a lot of negative things but the positive but was the big template,. >> right this campaign is going to be much more contrast, negative, disqualification of romney, because there is not that much that the country -- that you can make an easy sell to the country, they are going to say as joe biden put it so well, the auto industry is still alive and osama bin laden is dead. >> rose: economics and politics when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: larry fink is here, the chairman and ceo of blackrock, he cofounded the firm in 1988 out of a one room office in manhattan. today, it is the largest asset management in the world. blackrock over sees approximately $3.5 trillion, it is, its stable includes stocks, bonds, hedge funds, index funds and etfs, the company is urging americans to prepare for the future now, its clarion call to the public is part of an issue inive called "investing for a new world". i am pleased to have larry fink at this table for the first time, welcome. >> thank you, charlie, how are you? >> rose: good, much to talk about, good to have you here, this is not something you do every day of your life. >> no, it is not. >> rose: so where is the market? >> the market right now is
represents a lot of fear. we as humans are having a hard time adapting to the new realities of media, and we are bombarded with information. and there are so many channels of media today and media sells, and it sells well when there is bad news. and so media in my mind propagates bad news. and i am not suggesting it is not great news or bad news right now but we are having a hard time as investors, as leaders of our countries, as ceos of large companies, we are asking a hard time deciphering the good news and bad news and it is leading us to this overt fear of the future, and we are now investing more and more for the short-term, the behavior of ceos and the management of their companies more short-term vision and certainly we can all identify our government is identifying on short-term
solutions and not long-term solutions so i think the dilemma we are all facing now, the markets, interest rates, the overall economy is we are so focused on the immediacy of now, and all of the noise associated with now that i think the world is freezing and unfortunately we are at a time now in the long-term actionñr isñi necessao workxd our country, our economy, our world into a better place. we need action now. >> rose: and by that you mean a long-term plan to deal with the deficit, long-term plan to have an investment in the future, a long-term plan to look at the fact that we live on this planet with a whole range of other kind of things? >> exactly. and so it is manifested in so many ways our government, we have an inability to work a solution related to our deficits, which is only growing very fast, and we have great problems associated with that, because we are so dependent on
foreign flows, for our deficits to finance it and you have demographic problems overseas that are going to limit the amount of investing in our securities in the future, so we have to address that, ceos, what are they doing right now? they are spending more time buying back shares, buying back shares does not help the economy, does not create jobs but buying back shares will elevate the stock price in the short-term, and then investors are running back into cash, running into bonds because they are frightened of all of this noise, they are frightened of all of this uncertainty. >> rose: and a lot of blue chip firms are doing that too? >> i would say it is fair to say without pointingxd fingers sociy is doing it, we need ieconomica. >> yes. all three categories. and we need to find a way to build confidence. it is important also, we are going to tackle our deficits one way or another we won't have any choice whether that is through
tax increases or whether that is through entitlement changes or we can all sit here and. >> or both shouldn't it? >> in my opinion,çóñi yes. but the problem is in dealing with these things, these are hard, hard decisions, it affects many people. but importantly, the impact is very immediate, if we don't make these changes. the impact and uncertainty is causing investors to freeze. the fact that we are not addressing these now, it is forcing ceos to say i can't see beyond the next six months or 12 months. i don't want to spend my trillion and a half dollars in all of the, cos are sitting with. let me just buyback shares and immediately alleviate fears my shareholders have. >> staying with the idea of fear and staying with the idea corporations are sitting with a lot of money and not investing it and you say why? they say uncertainty. >> yes. >> it is uncertainty about what? >> about the future.
>> rose: okay, but what about the future? you know, where are we going to have growth? as we tackle our deficits, we are -- and we are seeing this in europe right now they call it austerity plans in europe, that's the buzzword in europe but the same thing they are tackling their deficits, the impact of tackling deficits is less governmental spending, which has a drag on an economy. and so ceos are asking themselves. >> rose: less governmental spending has an effect on the economy because it is a stimulus. >> right. >> it puts money in people's hands in the country. >> if we reduce the deficits? how it will have less, it means less, and so what will our economy look like in a year or two? and so without -- with that uncertainty, you know, ceo behavior has been contracted to focusing on the short-term. >> rose: and when they say it is because of regulation, we are unsure about dodd frank do you say, no that is not it, it is something else?
>> well, there is no question regulation slows things down, there is no question regulation adds uncertainty, but we were talking specifically dodd frank, banks are sitting with more money than they know what to do with it. >> rose: and not lending it? >> no, they want to lend it. >> rose: ah. >> i think it is unfair to say they are not willing to lend it. i think the regulators are asking the leadership of these firms to have higher, more secure lending standards. >> rose: what is wrong with that? >> i agree with that. but what that means, somebody who might have gotten a loan in 2007 is not going to get that loan today. >> the biggest problem we have with bank earnings is there is not enough demand for loans, and so what they are doing is -- >> rose: don't need the money because they have plenty of it. >> they have so much money they don't know what to do with it so they are buying drif, derivatives and securities but there is a willingness to invest the money. i think that is more politic
than anything else, these bankers wil will make a higher return for their shareholders if they lend their money to their clients instead of going into the capital market and buying bonds or buying derivatives that causes problems. >> rose: it is my impression that people on wall street made a lot of money and have been smart about money, come from all kinds of political persuasions, liberal, centric, right, and at the same time, you know, they have a certain sense of what is essential for the country. we have to deal with the deficit, you have to deal with entitlements. >> yes. >> rose: so you wish? how political leadership would be willing to take the risk for the future. >> >> but they are not because they fear the consequences? >> these are men and women in the congress, and the house, they are up -- their job is being challenged every two years, you have senators whose jobs are being challenged every six years. you know how ceos, by the way we used to have ceos that the
average ceo in america used to be eight years and how it is less than six, so you have -- we have behavior that is being challenged by this process. and we need -- men and women, whether they are ceos or politicians to start talking out loud for doing the right thing for this country, and what i would say for our grandchildren. >> rose: and that is the greatest challenge how do you get somehow get that to be, it is a necessity how d how do yout to be the momentum idea? >> well this is one of the things -- >> rose: it is a rolling stone that is fathering -- >> one of the things we have tried to do and blackrock has never been, you know, an outspoken firm in trying to create an idea, and we recently launched a campaign on this whole idea of longevity. >> rose: right. we will talk about that. >> and to me, you know, it is not a problem today, but it truly is a problem today if you
are a 35-year-old person and you just are beginning to build your retirement, you are just starting at a late age of 35 which is happening more and more in this country. and, you know, if your parents are still alive and 35 years old, and your parents are in their seventies and everything is fine in life will there is a high probability now if your parents -- your parent are going to live into their 90s now and so when we talk about retirement at 65, which is still, i think, a common belief by most americans, i don't think americans think about that statistically a couple -- a couple that is 65 that is in good health at 651 of them is going to live to 92 today, and so statistically, you are going to have, you know -- you are going to have 25 to 27 more years that you are going to need a nest egg, to have that nest egg requires either contribute ago large component of your
disposable income which has really bad impact on our economy because it is investing for the future that is slowing down today, or you will need to find, va to find a way to get a return that will meet your needs in the nest egg and our contention putting your money in cash or two percent bonds today you will never meet that target. you will have insufficient savings for retirement. and what we are trying to alarm people and i want people to be alarmed, longevity should be a blessing, not a curse. and until we start working at helping people on retirement, the same way that we talk about healthcare, retirement for a lot of people could be a curse and a burden to their children, and this is a big issue and no one is focusing on the needs of retirement, if we just spend, you know -- i think more and more americans are spending more
time in trying to think about how can they live that extra day, week, month through, whether it is exercise or vitamins or going to the doctor more frequently, you know, there are a lot of people who have exhibited very good behavior for longevity, but most people don't spend any time thinking about how can i afford that longevity and so this is a big crisis we talk about the way, we talk about, okay, the new york state pension plan or where they have a big gap between their assets and liabilities but to the pensioner it is not a big problem because it is a liability of the state, and so it puts a burden on us as taxpayers, but for the problem in america today, more and more families are not -- they don't have a defined benefit plan. they, because most corporations have migrated to defined contribution plan and most americans are living with a defined contribution plan or hoping that social security and maybe an ira plan will be enough. we have calculated that the average american is going to
have probably a 40 percent gap between what their needs are going to be and what they are going to be savings, including all of those different plans. and so it is a crisis today, you have to start moving on how are you going to get to that nest egg. >> rose: and is there a political solution? >> i hope it is not a political solution. i am trying to, you know, we don't -- the solution has to be education. >> rose: right, right. in other words you are trying to -- what you hope that your message, where it resonates is with individuals? >> it has to be them. >> rose: to have some, some sort of gut level instinct and understanding of what the consequences of being alive and the choices they make for their own sort of future? >> i would say, charlie, it is also a moral responsibility, those companies that have defined contribution plans that they help educate their employees, that if you are earning two percent or four percent, your 35 years old, what, you know, and your
objective is x, to have a nest egg you are going to need so much money, there needs to be ways of just simplifying this long tale process that people can identify, you know,able i was with somebody recently who is a woman who is 42 years old and told me her parents are in their seventies and really good health and i said they will probably live to 90, when are you going to retire? >> i am going to retire at 65. i said so how much do you think you need a year to live on pretax? >> she said, you know, i would be very happy with 50,000 a year. >> and i said, okay well you are 42 and all of this. i said, if you are going to retire at 65 you are going to die at 90 to simplify it you will need a million and a quarter nest egg. i can't do that. why hasn't anybody told me this it is simple math $50,000 times 25 years. >> rose: and healthcare?
>> to me healthcare, affiliated as cochairman of medical center it is near and dear to me i think healthcare was not addressed in the obama healthcare plan and in its totality i think we need to focus on things like, you know, how do you -- how do you deal with the injustice of having other -- some people being able to afford healthcare and other people can't, but more importantly when we have not addressed the issues of is healthcare available for anyone, every time, full, you know, in terms of last few years of life, the amount of costs that are associated. that is 45 percent of our cost of healthcare. so healthcare is a major component but i think healthcare is secondary to jobs and the revitalization the other thing i would be focusing on in terms of revitalizing our economy is building on infrastructure, there is a real debate about our
natural pass, we have been blessed, no different than the middle east. >> rose: right. >> about how much energy we have in this country. >> rose: why are we discovering that late? does it have something to do. >> science. >> rose: science no is that right? not extracted at a reasonable price? >> well, we have the technology of drilling horizontally, you know, historically drilling was straight down and so we have new techniques, new science to do it, we are actually now extracting oil that, where once it was considered dead wells so i am not talking about drilling out off the continental shelf, i am talking about in the 48 states, 50 states. >> rose: this is an important point because you obviously know something about it, the idea, the idea means we are the precipice of no longer depending on middle eastern oil? >> i believe we need to have a
policy of to be north american energy independent. >> now? >> yes. >> rose: and it is possible? >> yes between the oil that is being produced in canada, you know,. >> rose: the huge resources? >> the huge resources in this country, mexico, mexico is now putting new technology in their wells and they are now extracting more oil than we thought they even had two, three years ago, a big reason why the mexican economy is growing at four and a half percent, you know. that economy is doing very well. so getting back to our job, we need to create an independent position in energy. we can become a large big exporter our natural gas is hovering around $2. >> and in europe it is $10 and education it is $15. >> rose: so we could become an exporter of natural gas? >> that should be an option, that should be an opportunity. now until we, you know, focus on our country, until we retrofit our trucks, which should be a
mandate that we retrofit all of our trucks to natural gas, until we build natural, liquid natural gas stations throughout our country, you know, the question should our gas be exported now, you know, i am not an expert on that, but i do believe we will ultimately become a large exporter of natural gas let's focus on this country and let's focus on building the infrastructure in this country. >> rose: and north american independence. >> and north american independents that is not the real key, not can we exchange, change the export import debate on this economy. >> rose: where are you on the ryan plan on on the one hand in terms of a budgetary solution and on the other hand simpson-bowles and on the other hand what came out of the obama administration? i mean, am highs those through your perspective. >> i think they are all -- none of them were 100 percent right i would say i am closer to the simpson-bowles plan, it was pretty severe on the military,
and i am not close enough to understand the whole military budget, but i have heard some people who are much closer to, and have a better understanding of that that, you know, they said that had some severe consequences. >> rose: right. even the president said that was one of the reasons he had problem with it. >> yes. but i think that is one component. we have to address this issue of longevity in our entitlements. the entitlement program was never created with the idea that we were going to live to 90 plus years. these entitlement programs were really meant to be programs to help people in their few years after retirement. so they could have that quality sense of life with diagnosis think at this. >> rose: who is best able to reengineer the economy? barack obama and his team or mitt romney and his team? >> i am a democrat and have been a lifelong democrat. i would -- well, i don't know who the team will be, i would hope tim would agree to stay
another term years. >> rose: and you think tim would be ready to leave? >> but i would say -- i happen to support the president in his economic, and his economic team. i believe our crisis was so severe that it was not a four-year fix. if we look at housing today, our housing problem was not created -- it was created by both the democrats and republicans, we had policies that were really obscene, we had in 20,078,000,000 unsold homes in this country, we need a million to a million and a half homes every year to, to accommodate immigration, family formation and replacement. >> rose: everybody says to me warren buffett on down all-round say to me, you know, we will not have an economic recovery until we fix the housing crisis. >> but it is almost fixed, it is just time. we are about a year away from the excess inventory being behind us so you are seeing
states right now. >> rose: so that means we are a year away from a full-scale economic recovery? >> i wouldn't call it full-scale economic recovery but start creating jobs in houses again so, you know, i believe whoever is president is going to have that benefit in 2014 that housing is going to be on the upswing. so to me, much of, yo, much abot life is timing we all say that. well the same thing if you are running a country it is about timing and, you know, we -- if you think about government policy, all government policy could to is accelerate the filtering of this excess inventory. >> rose: right. >> debt usn't long-term fix anything. and so i would have to, i was asked repeatedly by washington what can we do about housing and i said, time. >> rose: you supporting the president, you supported him in 2008 and supporting him now? >> yes. >> the one thing the president worries about is europe.
obviously. and what the consequences might be. you said that you believed that we will deal with the deficit, do you hike wise believe the penalties will deal with their deficit issues? >> we are very involved in europe and actually representing the irish government and the greek government on their problems right now, we are heavily involved in europe, and, you know, as hard for us to manage our situation, we are one government, we are talking about 19 governments. we are talking about very extreme differentials in the economies. you know the german my is doing quite well, you also have a german economy that really had ten years of austerity that everyone is for getting, that reunification of eastern germany was a real burden. >> rose: a costly -- >> a very costly. >> rose: ideal. >> and if you remember the pundits were saying, what is wrong with germany? because greece, italy, spain and ireland were growing faster than germany what germ think was going was
retooling its economy and restructuring and actually bringing down wages during that time and made itself more efficient and more efficient factories and now germany is a big beneficiary of all of this and everyone is saying germany, you need to fix this. now, germany -- >> rose: germ may says we fixed our ours because we made sacrifices. >> and it is very hard for a politician now to stand there and chancellor merkel is trying to stand there and try to get re-elected, you know, her population did have those sacrifices, and her thousand being asked to help other people? >> that is a ve do. but unfortunately, i don't think there is going to be a choice if we are going to have a stable europe, germany is going to have to play a much greater leadership role. they are going to hav have to ta position that may be difficult internally in the country for a while, but i believe in the long run the german population will benefit from that. but importantly, the europeans
will have to come to task with the problems. they have a banking crisis. they have a sovereign debt crisis. you have getting back to short-term, long-term, every investor i talk to in europe has, as the sovereign death of, debt of spain, itly, roll off they are not reinvesting, if we don't address this soon enough we may have a failed auction this one of those countries, not france but maybe spain, so you have a crisis that is getting worse every day, in the marketplace is now spooked and now we just had six percent decline in our markets, this month, european markets are down closer to ten percent this month, so we had a severe market reaction, missions generally respond to market reactions like that so now will is a debate going on how to do it. one thing i would say is the european central bank has 100 basis points of interest rate,
our federal reserve we have zero interest rates, and the ecb has short rates pegged at one percent. i believe they are going to ease and they are going to, you know, i believe one of the tools they have by easing is lowering the value of the euro. so the euro in the last two weeks have lowered from 130 to 124 i believe you will see the euro at 110 through this easing mechanism and that will allow growth even in spain and italy because their products will be cheaper. >> rose: so you think greece will not leave the euro zone? >> my view is there is going to have to be a resolution of greece. i believe that there is going to be a resolution which will allow greece to leave the euro zone, it will be done in a way that is organized, and managed. greece can't leave the euro zone if they wanted to because their bank, they don't have money to fund their banking system. they need some type of link to the ecb even if, you know to do
that there will have to be a sensible organized solution, what europeans need to do is work with greece on that exit, but more importantly they will need to find ways of making sure there is no connotation to, contagion to portugal and spain and china. >> rose: and clearly they are concerned about growth, should we be concerned about their growth? >> the biggest problem in china that nobody talks about, china has been extraordinarily dependent on exports, and china has for the last five years tried to really build domestic demand. but what we have seen, because of financial crisis in china, we have seen savings rates for the typical middle class rising chinese, their savings rate went from 35 to 45 percent, so the chinese have become more fearful of their future and they are saving more. and so. >> rose: the hope was they would spend more because they were more confident of their future.
>> more confident and more disposable income to spend. >> rose: right. >> but that, charlie that is one of the big risks we have in our world today. so we have seen a huge transfer of wealth goebelly from europe, parts of north america to asia, we have seen a rise of china, you know, hundreds of millions of people have really broken in terms of economic standing. and if you are a global list you would say that the last ten years were among the best ten years in the history of mankind because you would talk about china brazil and india, we saw a real rise in the standard of living, obviously that rise of standard of living in those countries have had very .. poor negative impact on some of the other developed economies because we are equalizing everything and that equalization means some countries are going down, some countries are going up. that is more of a global issue, but specifically in china, if we cannot get the chinese to start spending with this vast wealth, that is the clogged artery of the world right now. you know,
we -- we have always thought about the economy the global economy, would grow because we all know how much americans spend and we know how much brazilians spend because they spend more of the disposable income that us, and but they do spend a lot, you take that model to asia, and that model is very different, they are saving much more than the west ever did. now, there is a long history in it, you have had a long history of governments in asia not helping their citizens, and we finally now have governments in asia that are actually working on the improvement of their quality of life and their citizenship, and it is a sociological issue, how many generations will it take for that trust? and until we can get that trust with the savers of asia and specifically china, we are not going to see the global growth as we once thought. >> rose: i could go on and on and on and i think, i know you are resistant to doing much of, this i sure hope you will come
back, i really would like to continue the conversation. >> i have enjoyed it. >> rose: there is much we can talk about and i want to give the viewers at home to view what we have already said, thank you very much. >> i enjoyed it, thank you. >> rose: chairman and ceo of blackrock. back in a moment, stay with us. >> rose:. >> at the 2012 presidential campaign gets underway the economy remains the dominant and defining issue, in recent weeks the debate over which candidate gets, can best lead the nation zero a recovery intensified, mitt romney escalated his criticism of his record after securing the republican nomination on tuesday, many see the new offensive as a counter punch to the white house assault on romney's private equity background and his tenure as governor of massachusetts, the negative tone of the obama campaign stands in stark contrast to the president's initial message of hope and change. most major poles show the two candidates running neck and neck joining me now is john heilemann, a political analyst
for msnbc, coauthor of the best selling game change and editor for the new york magazine, his article in this week's issue is an in-depth look at the obama reelection campaign, it is called hope, the sequel for obama and opinion, this time around, it is all about fear. i am pleased to have john heilemann back at this table, here is the cover, though as the race tightens the fear that mitt romney might just win in november is being felt by democrats all across america. but not in chicago. >> why not in chicago? you know, charlie, they are a confident group out there. in chicago. and in washington. and in the white house. >> in the white house -- >> and the president, you know,, the president is, look he look they are not -- they believe it is going to be a very close election and i mean they really believe that and since the day he came back to the white house, with maps, charts and data has been telling people we are not going to win 53 percent, we are not going to win with as many states, and it is a much closer
election. >> rose: and of course it is going to raise -- >> that, a corset tight election that is my phrase. it is going to look a lot like 2004 than 2008. >> rose: bush versus kerry. >> bush versus kerry down to the wire in ohio, but they believe that they have big forces on their side, dental graphic advantages that favor them, they think that romney is -- they have only be bun to take the field in terms of disqualifying romney from office, they think that there is a story they can tell about ronald any, that is powerful, a powerful indictment that when it is all said and done people will not feel comfortable with romney as commander in chief. >> rose: it seems to me looking at what other people are saying if you measure the impact of their attack, vis-a-vis bain capital, it did not take him down. >> you know, it is early i mean it is hard to know, right? i mean, and i look there are establishment democrats who looked at, who were exrit cal of that attack and think that the
president is seems, too conventional, too divisive, by attacking so severely, so early, that he is at risk of squandering his most precious asset which is which is my brand. the answer on bain is you can't isolate that attack. they are going to -- they have a bunch of cards they want to lay down that talk about his record in the private sector, his record in massachusetts, the positions he took during the republican primary, and they believe that as you go through those arguments over the course of the next six months, among the voters who matter in the nine or ten states where the election is going to be decided, that those are powerful arguments they can win on. >> rose: so what does the romney campaign believe. >> they believe economics trumps all. they say, look, you know, this is a referendum on barack obama, that is what reelections with a sitting president are. are you better off than you were four years ago? you are not. people don't think that. >> rose: if that is the question obama is likely to lose? >> a lot of people feel like the
country is on the wrong track two, third of the country think it is on the wrong track. that vast majority of the people don't think the country is out of the woods, there is a little more optism mitchell, optimism but not a lot. people don't feel they are better off than four years ago and the romney argument in the nutshell is, barack obama is a very nice man, he is well intentioned, he didn't cause this crisis, fair enough but at it three and a half years and spent a lot of money and there has been little appreciable effect in terms of how most of you live day to day, that argument is an argument they can win. the question is, again from the obama people's perspective, the question is, do you want to go forward or do you want to go back? back means back to a lily-white vision of america in the 1950's that doesn't include minorities, women, young people as full participants and do you want to go back to republican policies that got us into the mess that obama inherited in the first place and that is key. people in the middle of the electorate look at mitt romney,
still today many of them and do not see a typical republican. they see a more moderate guy. the obama campaign must, they must make him own the republican brand, and own policies that are, again in their view, just same old same old trickle down benefits the rich, doesn't benefit average people, if they can make him into a bain or mcdonald bush republican they think that is an argument they can win an election. >> rose: in addition to, in addition to being rich and out of touch. >> yes part of a continuum, one of the thing i say in the piec, a tag line they are considering in chicago, romney has never been in it for you. not just he is not on your side, not just that he is not in it for you he has never been in it for you, meaning implicitly he is in it for himself and that encompasses everything, bain, the massachusetts record, the positions he has taken in the primary, all, all of it not on your side and never been our
your side, all about himself. >> rose: help us understand who is it that will decide this election? >> well, that is a fantastic question, and not one with a super easy answer. you know, certainly, we know that there are as i said before, nine, ten, maybe 11 states maybe only six or seven, but somewhere in that vein, in that band that are the states that are going to determine, those are the states in play, they are advertising in those plays going west to east, new mexico, nevada, colorado, iowa, ohio, virginia, north carolina, florida, from the romney perspective, you know, they would like to make their path to new hampshire and make their lives early in terms of getting 270 electoral votes they would like to put in pennsylvania, it is a narrow set of states so then the question is, you know, from the obama standpoint, their goal as we said before, more like 2004 than
2008, much more of a base election than an election about expanding the electorate so they are focused on how do we turn out our people? we need to get these groups that like president obama, we need to make sure they are enthused and get to the polls. from the romney -- >> rose: the bush argument in 2004. >> exactly right, exactly right and the argument against romney very similar with the ideological polarities reversed, simultaneously just as george w. bush said about john kerry, a flip flopping phony and a liberal extremist, the obama campaign wants to say about mitt romney, he is a flip flopping phony and conservative extremist. >> rose: the obama campaign looks much more to the middle of the electorate and says, you know, look at these moderate independent voters, many independents who voted for the president in 2008, and they look at them and say, you are not sold on this guy, you have three and a half years in and not comfortable with his economic stewardship and economic management and what we need to do, mitt romney, what we need to do is convince you mitt romney is an acceptable alternative.
and once we get over that hump and that may not be until after the debates debates after that hump those people for obama in '08 who don't fully trust or believe in him anymore and wait to see if romney is viable, those people will all flip, the romney, those people will flip towards mitt romney and that is where they will win and also look at some of these demographics slices where the president has big leads, especially spanish. >> rose: women, hispanics. >> women, hispanics, young voters, they say it is great the president has leads with those groups but those leads are going to get smaller and the reason is because all of those groups are also affected by the economy, you know, those kids in 2008 who voted for barack obama, you know, they are all excited what has he cone for you lately? you are living at home in your parent's garage, hispanics who voted for the real estate, way ahead, the president is way ahead with romney with hispanics, the president didn't deliver immigration reform for you although you think he is better than that issue he didn't deliver for you and look at the foreclosure crisis in nevada,
look at the foreclosure crisis in florida, you know, you might like the president better but he dazen't done anything to really help you. >> is the republican party united behind mitt romney. >> it is now, yes. >> rose: enthusiastic? >> well, enthusiasm is growing, what there is, there is deep antipathy. >> rose: it trumps any reservations. >> one thing is clear, the president will have a big ground game, romney is not time to build a big ground game and the republican theory they won't say this but basically we don't need a big ground game because people in our party hate obama and as much as they were had all of these misgivings about romney you see in the polling, 90, 92 percent of republicans are for mitt romney and they are not necessarily, they are not necessarily love the guy but they love him if they think there is a chance they can get the other guy out of the white house. >> rose: when you look at the romney campaign, do they have campaign strategists measure up to the obama campaign strategists. >> they are both very strong teams. >> rose: if you look at what
happened in the republican primaries he came through is his point. >> very strong teams on both sides. they really are smart guys and a key moment in the, i relayed in the piece, a senior white house official saying, you know, one thing they do well is kill well of the romney people, they kill well and that is not unimportant. >> rose: do the obama people kill well? >> you can ask hillary clinton and john mccain that question. axelrod, jim me situate na, the big kahunas of the obama campaign, they are not, .. they believe profoundly in the president and his vision of america but they are happy to put on brass knuckles and beat the hell out of somebody if they have to to win. >> rose: will they run a more negative campaign than they did in 200 2008 which was primarilyn aspirational campaign? >> yes, again, i want to be clear, people somehow think negative means bad, you know, i have no judgment on the point. >> rose: you have been around politics too long. >> it is true, oh, the president has a right to fight back for
himself. i can't fight back because -- look all i mean is if you think about, they ran a lot of negative ad in 2008 and ran more negative ads against john mccain than any presidential campaign who ever ran before but the tone of that campaign if you think about the ratio of attacks on the opponent, versus talk about plans, visions, aspirations. >> rose: hope and change. >> it was much more, people had, they correctly viewed the obama campaign as being a campaign that was more positive than it was negative. they still did a lot of negative things but the positive was the big template, right? this campaign is going to be much more contrast, negative, disqualification of romney because there is not that much that the country is -- that you can make an easy sell to the country. they are going to say as joe biden put it so well, auto industry is still alive and osama bin laden is dead. you know, those two things stood on a bumper sticker and big positives the things the president has done right. >> second run, mitt romney went through a difficult primary and emerged as the candidate.
he now has the advantage as i understand it, of this super pac money. >> yes. >> rose: what kind of advantage does that give him if any? >> well, it is a big advantage, but i will just say, you know, you ask him what they are worried about, they are worried about external facilities, external aliti settlement, european crisis, job numbers, things they can't control at this point and they are all down side risks and worried about thathat stuff but can't comuch about iment the other thing they are worried about is they know, they believe, and most republicans believe this too, that the republicans are going to out spend the democrats, if you take all of the money, money that the candidate raised, the parties raised and the outside spending with i have the key, republicans super pacs are going to spend a lot of money, and you never want to get out spent in a political campaign. but incumbent presidents don't get out spent that doesn't happen. >> rose: but it will happen this year? >> it will happen this year and
again this is the view of chicago, they think they are going to get out spent by 20, 30, 40 percent. >> rose: how will they defend themselves against that. >> i will give you the numbers, maybe a billion on the democrats side, maybe 1.3, 1.4 on the republican side. now this is an un-- this is terra incognito. >> nobody spent that much before, so here is something sort of true, one is that advertising a presidential elections usually doesn't matter as much as it does at the state level elections it matters even less about incumbent presidents because most have been living with him three and a half years and the main argument is obama wrecked the economies so one thing chicago does is sit there and pray the negative messages are already internalized and baked into the cake sufficiently that the ads don't really move the needle that much and that is what most of the spending will be on, negative ads, jim messina the campaign manager, you shoud give your television september to a friend all you are going to see is negative ads for the next six months, on the republican
side, what is it about the president that seems to make him so passionate to defeat him? >> man, that is good, you know, charlie i prefer two false questions and that is kind of like a ph.d. dissertation style question. you know, there is -- there is a part of the republican party, the conservative, far conservative aspect of it, that, you know, have hatedw3 the president with really raw intensity since the day he walked into office, and, you know, people have a lot of different theories about it, you know, some people put race in that category as part of a motivating market for some member of republican voters, certainly the birther things seems at least to me partly driven by racial animus, this notion of obama as a socialist, that he is chicago school solinski, all of these associations that a lot of the right have with various kinds of left wing bogeys, you know, that
if you look at the way the president has governed in my opinion, you know, he clearly has been left left of center but the idea that he is a socialist -- >> rose: on the other hand, and he has not been left of center. >> domestic policy left of center but not socialist, by any means, didn't push for a single pair healthcare system and didn't try to break up the biggest banks, things you could do if you were a socialist, foreign policy we won't talk about because president obama is unassailable on it, like a bush, you know, an extension of george herbert walker bush and the second half of george w. bush's term, very conservative, very aggressive, very muscular foreign policy that's why the president rates ahead of romney on the strong leader -- >> rose: pulling out from afghanistan will not be -- moving move the need needle for or against? >> i don't think it would, the country is war wary and wants to get out and makes the president look weak because he has done so many things that have been aggressive and strong. >> and something we used to call the october surprise or the unexpected consequence, one would be europe. >> a clams of the european
economy and the euro zone in the next couple of months, you know, estimates differ about what that would do to american gdp but they are not good and because of the fact the economy is so-so tentative and what the obama administration has prayed for was a 1983, 84 situation. not a booming economy, but gradual, linear trending up and what they have had is false dawns and fits and starts a couple of good months of job followed by a couple of bad months of job support it is on a nice edge. >> rose: debates will be crucial? >> i think they will be huge. >> rose:. >> three of them this time? >> three of them in this time and i will give you the romney point of view about this. the rom my people belief this is 1988 -- 1980 again and not that jimmy carter is barack obama in any meaningful way except this way which is that the electorate of 1980 had sort of decided it didn't want to stick with carter and all you were needing was reas reassurance that reagan was not a nut and plausible,
caricatured as a right wing crazy throughout. >> rose: and put that to rest. >> i think only one that year and reagan got on that stage, and people, the race was tight as a tic and reagan got on stage and didn't look like a crazy person and pulled away from carter really dramatically literally in the days following. >> rose: there you go again and stuff. >> yes and the romney people will say that is what is going to happen this time. and that people, the obama campaign is going to throw everything at the kitchen sifng but mitt romney and romney will stand up in the debate and huh he doesn't seem this bad. >> rose: this notion of inequality, those that have and those who don't, those that have is one percent and those that don't is 99. >> yes. >> will the obama team be able to write a narrative, that will yes, sir mate that incorporated that? >> well, i think this goes back to, he has never been zero on your side, you know, romney .. did a series of things in the nomination side i would like to think of him as suffering from
some kind of influenza and turrets he did a bunch of dumb things i like being able to fire things and i love my wife's two cadillacs all of my friend don't -- and all of this stuff that created the caricature of gordon gecko means thurston howell the third. >> rose: i bet you $10,000 all of those things, the david axelrod greatest hits real and all of those things, the campaign will go they have done an ad for the web based on all of those things and struggle strung them altogether but they think this chicago, it lays down this predicate of romney is out of touch, doesn't understand the lives of average americans, superintendent on the side of those people, doesn't share their values, and that if you take that caricature, that premise, that character law flaw as they see it and marry it up to what he did at bain, not creating jobs, and their argument, not as a job creator and then you look at massachusetts, and this is, we are just starting this right now, this phase of
massachusetts, made these promises, the same promises he is making now, my experience in the private sector makes me a, will make me a good governor of massachusetts and lead to job growth, no, wha what happened ws massachusetts slipped from 36 to 47 in job creation, so if you are pointing to who the guy is, what his record was at bain, what his record is in massachusetts, there is a whole, there is a totality of a picture there which is saying to a lot of voters, whether it is pen, the voters, the obama coalition and those independent moderate voters in the middle of the country are making 43,000 a year, this guy isn't anything like you, he has never helped people like you, he has helped himself, why would you want to put -- >> rose: and says something about his character that could argue against that in terms of the kind of how he has been as a human being, that they will be able to show that there are things he has done that say something about his character, therefore, you cannot say that about him as an individual?
>> well, i think that this is one of the great challenges for the romney campaign, right? because the hinge that romney has not done and is -- he -- there are two things that matter to mitt romney, he is a great team man, everybody who knows him everybody, his family, the family is wonderful, the wife is great. >> rose: people who cowhat you do like the rom miss. >> like, romneys. >> you can tell a lot of people you go talk to the coworkers and people he worked with for years, hillary clinton is a great example of, this loyalty and credible loyalty, the love hillary clinton, they love mitt romney, his colleagues at bain and think she great guy, but apart from stanley, the things that matter most of him to his life, animating, driving motivations, he has been able to make a lot, really good at making money and really cares about his church. and neither one of those things does he talk about in a way that is recognizably compelling and human.
like he is scared witless about talking about mormonism. >> rose: does that mean that gene does not exist with him and so therefore he can't do it or that he simply has not yet, you know, comfortable doing it? >> my favorite newspaper cliche, time will tell, charlie, but up to now, i mean, those are things -- >> rose: he is better at it? is he not? >> he has not done, you know, what you keep waiting for is for -- you can't just say, my friends in the private sector make they a good job creator you need to say, this is why, and this is what i was good at and why i cared about, this you know, you need to be able to talk about it in a way people will say, i mean, because that would be conceivably, i don't know what he would say, but you can imagine, you know, there are pieces from david brooks columns you can imagine in defense of private equity you could imagine if it came out of a candidate's mouth you would say okay well that doesn't sound rapacious and like gordon gecko that sounds reasonable. romney has not been able to mount that kind of a discussion
about his background in that area and then of course there is the stuff with the church that i think he is scared of politically but when you can't -- >> rose: should he be? >> i think -- look, i think that, you know, nobody knows, but i just think that if you were a candidate, who cannot speak in human, compelling terms about the things that matter to you in your life, you are hobbling yourself in a way that exceeds the damage to yourself exceeds whatever damage you would do by talking about the thing to some narrow group of people. >> rose: clinton says you need to feel their pain. >> yes. and you have to be able to talk about yourself and what you care about in a way that makes people say, well, maybe he cares about different things than me but he obviously cares about that stuff, that is a guy i can understand. >> rose: tell me if you think is if this is relevant. in 2008, the press loved barack obama. >> they did. >> rose: where is the press of
2012? >> well, the bloom is off that rose, for sure. there is no love affair with barack obama anymore and my view always was that the thing -- i think the press was soft on obama in 2008, i have said that a million times and i think it was mostly about the story, you know, it wasn't about liberal, conservative, it was new. >> rose: right. >> it was history. it was, you know, it was all about, the story was irrelevant resist to believe a lot of people. >>ose: young, smart and color blind. >> yes. >> rose: and made america feel young country. >> made america feel virtuous and everything else and now see him like a conventional politician and so there is a traditional way to cover politicians is be more hostile. the romney campaign has treated reporters with, at an arm's-length way bordering on hostile, they are suspicious i think they think the press is liberal and a lot of different reasons for doing what they do but they have not inculcated, you know, anything like the kind of warm and collegial relations and this is not just -- i mean conservatives will say, well,
that was easy for obama because you are all liberal. >> bush had great relations with the press, i mean he was -- the press infinitely preferred the, george w. bush to al gore in 2000. >> rose: because? >> because. >> he was more open, he was human, open, accessible, funny and the people who worked for him hiked the press and cullity investigated the press and didn't give them the back of the hand. so it is not ideological thing. conservatives can win that game. the romney people have not. they have not done it very well. so right now -- >> rose: and is that a factor? >> well, i think because of the fact that the press is not in love with either cane it probably ends up being a wash, you know,. >> rose: have much more to talk about and i hope you will come back often with insight not only the obama campaign brain but also where w we all are. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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